Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yes, it does take a village.

In the middle of my pregnancy with the girls, Rich was attempting to make plans to attend his brother's bachelor party. In Montreal. Months after the girls would be born. We had discussions about it before a final decision was made. He wanted to go and I wanted him to go but there was the question of whether or not I would be okay caring for the girls by myself.

I distinctly remember saying something alone the lines of, "Oh, I'll be fine. I'll just put the babies in the bed with me. We can nap together. It will be a girls only kind of weekend." And Grammy offered to come over and help out too.

I can now easily laugh at how naive I was.

Allie and Em were discharged from the hospital with me four days after they were born. It took us six months to finally get them on a feeding schedule. We tried and tried and tried. And we failed. They were demand feeders and because they were so little we had to ultimately let them just be demand feeders.

Anna came home from the NICU three weeks old and on a three hour feeding schedule. Although she and Em weighed the same at birth, she was smaller when we brought her home. She too became a demand feeder and soon caught up in terms of weight gain.

The girls also had some reflux issues and had to constantly be burped while feeding. For the first few months, it took about an hour for one feeding. For one baby. Because of the burping, we could not do any bottle propping.

My point in all of this is that I needed help and I'm so very lucky that I have family (both mine and Rich's) who have been helping us from day one. Grammy has been a major player from the get-go. I don't even want to begin to think about what our financial situation or my stress levels would be like if we didn't have Grammy. Because of Anna's medical needs, there are very few people I feel comfortable leaving her with.

You would not believe all the support we received last week. My youngest brother and his wife helped out a tremendous amount. And both Rich's niece and sister-in-law took time out of their schedules to assist as well. I want to note too that various members from Rich's family have helped out with watching the girls over past few years allowing us to go out to dinner or lunch on the weekends sans little ones.

Okay, so now I need to talk about some funny stuff. While Grammy was still in the hospital, my brother, Patrick, came over to watch the girls for a few hours one afternoon before Rich arrived home so that I could go to the hospital to visit Grammy (and relieve my dad.) I explained to the girls what was going on. Allie looked at me with a very serious expression on her face and said, "He's a boy. We just won't talk to him."

I gave Pat dinner suggestions for the girls and told him that they could have dessert after dinner. While at the hospital, I received this text message from Pat:

What do they get for dessert? They are asking.

Me: Ask them exactly what they want.

Pat: Ok just wanted to check before I gave them whatever they wanted. Didn't know if that was allowed.

I didn't realize until later when I talked to Pat how someone could have thought that the girls were pulling a fast one. "Oh, yes. Mommy and Daddy always let us have that for dessert." At what age do kids learn to do this? My kids don't do this. Yet. Although, they do try to fool people with their identicalness. But that's it.

The next day, when I asked the girls if they had fun with Uncle Pat, Allie answered, "We talked to him." But really, they did have fun (especially last week when he brought them to Dairy Queen). They just have to keep up the 'we don't like boys' thing. Even though they have 'boyfriends'.


Cassie said...

Love this post! Great of you to give credit where it is deserved! You are very lucky to have such an awesome support system!

I have absolutely NO support system behind me. Please clone your family and send them this way :)

Alice said...

I laughed at the "we won't talk to him" part!

Mommy, Esq. said...

It is funny when you say you'll let them eat whatever they want and they always pick the same 2 items. I've been meaning to chat on my blog about nanny costs. I'm actively pursuing in-house opportunities and along with better hours that means up to a 40% (!) paycut. We realized after all bills/nanny/etc. that we can save ZERO - for college, for emergencies, etc. I often think - what if we didn't have to pay an entire person's wages out of our after-tax income?

Angela said...

I am SO glad you guys have a family that is supportive! As a professional nanny I would have to charge you $12.50/hr for three kids. I know that sounds kinda crazy, but that's actually pretty cheap in most parts of the country. I live in NC, so the cost of living is less than in the New England or West Coast states! Private childcare IS expensive, but it should be since the kids are able to get a more focused care experience and such. Anyway, so happy you guys are able to lessen that burden! I live near my family and my husband's family, so I imagine when we have kids, we're not going to have any issues with sitters either! :-)

Love your girls' personalities! It reminds me of my sister, Kristin, and I when we were that age. Kristin is 13 months younger than I. :-)